ISP has enjoyed the opportunity to work with many Amish communities across the past several decades, and the Amish remain one of our most important growth areas. Many have embraced the opportunity of vegetable production, and have become very good at growing high quality tomatoes, peppers and other important vegetable crops. Yields are often impressive and their desire to continually learn and improve is an important factor in their continuing success.
As part of this relationship, ISP has participated in their annual Horse Progress Days, often directly by supplying plant foods for the produce demonstrations. This year it was held in Howe, Indiana and it may have been the most successful of all that we have participated in. It was reported that attendance was in excess of 20,000 and based upon the number of people that stopped by our exhibit in the produce area there was no question that attendance was high.
ISP again had the privilege of providing both plant food and management input into the greenhouse and outside produce. Pictured at right is Bigdena tomatoes, one of the indeterminate varieties in the greenhouse. Although I’m not sure we managed to match the high standards set last year in Odon, overall the tomatoes and peppers looked very good. In addition, there are definite varietal differences as to growth habits, general plant health, fruit set and fruit quality. Yield data from each variety is being recorded, and will be available at the end of the season.
All of us at ISP would like to express our appreciation to the members of the planning committee, Larry Weaver, Joe Troyer and especially John Miller. John is the young man who rode his bike two to three times per day to perform the actual management activities necessary for the produce presentations.